This November saw our 5th collaborative photoshoot with the students at BAMM (Bath Academy of Media Make-up.) Every photoshoot goes something a little bit like this: BAMM give me a date thats fits in with their course, along with the number of students they have ( this time was 14- And 14 students means, 14 models!) They help me scout out models so that this time alongside our fabulous Bellisa X models, were also some from BAMM and from '25Model Mgmt' agency. In the build up to the day I create moodboards and organise everything from the photoshoot concept, location, styling, extra photographers, clothing , and in this case getting other brands involved for our first mega collaborative styled photoshoot. From my moodboards and ideas BAMM provide the skills of their photographers and of course, the hair and make-up. Thats the main jist of the set up although we are missing one vital role... Who translates my inital make-up moodboards into a reality? Who combines my ideas, with theirs and the students for the photoshoot? Who co-ordinates the hair and make-up on the day?
Join us for this interview as we strip back to the beginning before delving into the career path of a well-established celebrity make-up artist and spilling the secrets of his creative palette to discover his network of extensive expertise within the industry. It’s time to wave our mascara wands and introduce our exclusive interview with BAMM fashion course tutor‘ Gozra Lozano.'
B: I’ve been dying to actually learn more about you as a person, a talent and how you got to where you are now. Obviously, I have googled you once or twice but its just not answering the questions I want to know.. Let’s start from the bare-faced beginning. Where are you from?
Gozra: I was born in the Canary Islands but spent my first years living in one part of the coast of the African Sahara (Aaiún/Laâyoune) that at the time belonged to the Spanish Crown. My father was in the Air Force and we lived in the military base - kind of isolated from everything else.
B: Wow, I don’t know what I was expecting but certainly wasn’t that. What was it like living there?
G: The landscape was exotic and vast and fascinated me as a child. We even used to have a vulture protecting the entrance of our house!
B: A vulture! Now that is exotic- quite a big difference from my 2 domestic cats that definitely don’t protect our house. (laughs) What other young memories do you have?
G: When going for grocery shopping at the local market I remember seeing some African men wearing loads of jewellery. I asked my parents to buy me some, so they did. Sometime later when we had to go back to the Canary Islands I decided to wear my bracelets to my first day of school. Children started laughing at me because they thought I was wearing women's accessories.
B: Did this reaction affect you in any way?
G: Yes and no. No because It didn't affect me negatively as I realised at that moment in time everything is relative and that I didn't need to conform to the rules and regulations of a certain place if their normative was reductive. But yes because I guess me, as a little rebel, was born then! Lol
BAMM NOV 2019. Photo by Guy Traynor. Model: Helen Robinson. Wearing: Bellisa X, Bees Kneez Apparel, Wildthing, Gangster Wraps, Pickle Parlour.
B: Ahh, there does always seem to be correlation between rebellion and creativity! I guess you could say then that you’ve always had a fascination with creative expression through appearance. Was this something you’d always wanted to pursue down a career path?
G: As a teenager I knew I wanted to do something related with media and movies but I finished studying Economics at Uni for other reasons. When I was 15/16 I started collaborating with a newspaper interviewing some local celebrities and I noticed I liked going to the regional TV studios and hanging around as well. I was fascinated with that world.
B: Okay, okay so it’s making more sense how your wonder for the media industry guided you to where you are now- although I’m pretty eager to untangle the mystery of how you ended up in London after growing up, studying and working in a country so different.
G: I moved to London from Gran Canaria when I was 23 years old. It was a huge, life changing and amazing learning curve. Because of the way I looked at the time, people in clubs kept asking if I was a makeup artist and wanted to book me for makeup related jobs.
B: So with the massive leap on moving to a new country and new city, you decided to put your full creativity out there for the right people to notice?
G: Exactly really. I don't recall sending any CVs or going for job interviews to get work then. It seems I was in the right places at the right times and I guess I knew how to use the majority of those opportunities coming along my way.
B: Did you ever formally learn how to apply make-up?
G: I started experimenting with makeup when I was 14 years old and never looked back! I was influenced by the Glam-Rock, Punk and Goth aesthetics mainly. It was only when I moved to the UK that I decided to do something related with makeup professionally, so I studied in different academies in London and Paris.
BAMM NOV 2019. Photo by Guy Traynor. Model: Moon Immisch & Olivia. Wearing: Bellisa X, Bees Kneez Apparel, Gangster Wraps, Hiccup.
B: What was your first employment where you could work your skills and earn a regular wage from it?
G: I worked at M.A.C. Cosmetics first as a retail artist and then as part of their original creative team, called Pro Team at the time. We were only 4 in that position so we were extremely busy working in London, Paris and Milan Shows during Fashion Week, doing sometimes 5 fashion shows a day! Let's say I learnt "on the job" as much as I learnt from academies.
B: Relating to what I do, I can see how persistently practising with the openness to challenge and expand your capabilities and expertise, combined with technical support can be the best way to learn and evolve. What would you consider your biggest achievements working in the industry?
G: Too many to mention! Working with artists, celebrities and magazines is fun and can give you an ego boost now and then, plus an excellent economic revenue. Being part of fashion shows for major brands and designers is exciting because you learn a lot in those environments if you put your mind to it.
B: You must have some career highlights that stick in your mind? Can we get at least one name drop… please? (smiling sweetly)
G: Well, going on tour with the Pussy Cat Dolls was so much fun. Although I am enjoying this period of mentoring students too, passing my knowledge and experiences to them. I have many great memories but the best achievement is to always do a great job regardless of the area you are working in.
BAMM NOV 2019. Photo by Guy Traynor. Model: Nikolai and Latisha. Wearing: Bellisa X, Jackfruit, Pickle Parlour , Gangster Wraps.
B: I am definitely sensing a strong work ethic and a real passion for what you do. I’d love to know what inspires your colourful palette of ideas?
G: Everything around me could be potentially a source for inspiration. I have an analytical brain and I am very observant so even a simple object could provide me with enough information to design a look. From its shapes and hues to its textures and how different lights cast on it. Reading, researching, learning is the key for me. " If you want to be interesting, be interested" is my ethos in life.
B: Oooh, I’ll remember that one. When we talk about makeup artists in particular is there anyone whoes work influences you?
G: I love the work of many but Van Smith (Divine's makeup artist) is my overall idol.
B: Like anything, no job or lifestyle comes without its difficulties. What challenges do you face?
G: I love my job and as a freelancer I enjoy being my own boss. Sometimes travelling from country to country too often can be a bit challenging but it’s also exciting - so all is good! It is a privilege to do what I do so I am appreciative of life.
B: From my initial ‘google’ research of you, am I right in thinking you aren’t solely a make-up artist?
G: As parallel professions go, I am a published, gallery represented photographer with different exhibitions around the world. I also have a degree in Adult education and in areas like Photoshop.
BAMM NOV 2019. Photo by Guy Traynor. Model: Alice Powell and Mamie Attwooll. Wearing: Bellisa X,Bees Kneez Apparel, Delta of Phoenix, Hiccup and Bigger the Hoop.
B: A man of many talents! You quickly brushed upon your degree in adult education there which leads us to talk about where you are now, how we met and everything BAMM. How did you first get involved with the Academy?
G: My dear friend Christine Bateman (Boy George's personal mua) asked me to cover her. It’s quite normal to pass jobs in between fellow freelance makeup artists. I believe at the beginning BAAM only had two days allocated to Fashion makeup within the Peter King course. After a couple of times teaching and let's say by students' popular demand, the Fashion Course increased to a week.
B: How did BAMM fashion course contour to what it is today?
G: After a conversation with Melanie Weekley, BAMM's Principal and Creative Director Peter King we decided that potential students could benefit from having a separate Fashion Course altogether. I am thrilled and grateful that Mel and Peter supported and believed in me to design this course.
B: Obviously the fashion side of BAMM is where our collaborative photoshoots become involved – can you outline the structure of this course?
G: BAMM FASHION is divided in two parts: "Know the Rules" and "Break the Rules". Under the umbrella of these two concepts we will be teaching the students the best techniques and tricks of the trade in order to achieve a high level of makeup application and knowledge plus we will develop and encourage their personal styles and creativity. There are plenty of practical exercises, professional photoshoots and work experience included in the formula too. The aim of this course is to prepare the students to start working professionally and successfully in the real world and have fun while doing it!
B: So if someone wanted to apply to join this course, how would they do this?
They just need to get in touch with BAMM makeup academy. Anyone over 18 is welcome to join. I designed the course to cater for beginners, admirers of makeup and professionals that would like to refresh their skills. We also offer Open Days during the year to help with any questions. Those open days are announced on the BAMM website and our social media. (IG: bammfashion) B: Asides from tutoring at BAMM, what else are you currently involved with? My curious side would love to know what your work schedule looks like for the rest of the year and beginning of next G:
Busy! (And not complaining!) I just got back from Germany after teaching and designing characters for an amazing Opera house and I travel there frequently. I am also the Creative Director of FN makeup academy based in Kuwait. I designed an international course in which students come to the UK for a unique makeup experience several times a year. They come to BAMM too! I’ll keep working with celebrities and fashion shows during the year. Recently I was involved with Mzz Kimberley's Life project that has created the first ever UK all Trans Fashion Show and we have some former BAMM students doing the makeup and I can say my involvement together with BAMM FASHION with this project will be a lasting one. Also I have other several projects in the pipeline that I will tell you all about it when they start running!
BAMM NOV 2019. Photo by Guy Traynor. Model: Lucy, Wearing: Bellisa X, Balulu Garms, Delta of Phoenix, Gangster Wraps
B: I’m getting the sense that “lights, camera, action – its showtime!” has become somewhat a routine for you. It’s amazing that you stay motivated and continue to keep plucking out new creative ideas for so many different projects. I won’t keep you much longer- but what advice would you give someone looking to gel their way into the media industry?
G: Mainly to be passionate about it. If you love what you do you are halfway there.
You can view the full lookbook from our latest photoshoot with BAMM here.